Friday, August 04, 2006


Tisha B'Av Blogging

Somewhere in left blogistan, I promised this yesterday, but alas it's now today ... one more thing to consider when saying Kol Nidre ...

Anyhoo, on to the blogging:

Reading for Tisha B'Av: The Book of Lamentations

I suspect that in the Jewish corners of right-blogistan, Tisha B'Av this year, occurring when Israel has recently entered into a period of grave danger, will be an occasion for a lot of preening about "never again", this time in the context of not letting Israel and Jerusalem fall to non-Jewish invaders and Jews being exiled from our homeland.

However, let us remember that Jeremiah claims that the Babylonian Captivity was the punishment by God of the Jews for our iniquities. If we want to remain within Israel (cf. the parts of Deuteronomy we will read the Shabbos after next and we read as the second paragraph of the Sh'ma, ideally twice each day), we must be as just as the land demands we be, otherwise we will be vomited from the land and calamity will befall it.

In particular, those who mistake justice for vengeance and argue that it is morally acceptable to do anything to the guilty (forget about what is done to the innocent who happen to be amongst the guilty) outside of a due process of law, might do well to remember Lamentations 3:34-36: "Crushing under His feet / All the prisoners of the earth / To deny a man his rights / In the presence of the Most High, / To wrong a man in his cause -- / This the Lord does not choose" (JPS Translation).

Interestingly, those who reject as "Christian" and foreign to Jewish teachings the idea that Israel should try simply not responding to the deliberate provocations of terrorists whose aim, in spite of their recent denial of this and claims of miscalculation, is to terrorize Israel into a response which would drive the civilian population of Lebanon to further support Hezbollah as a de facto governing party, should realize that "turn the other cheek" is actually a Jewish teaching -- at least when it comes to the nation of Israel (Lamentations 3:30 -- which fascinatingly places this advice in a strategic "PR" context -- turning the other cheek is not a act of even passive resistance but is an act of defiance: of refusing to be a victim): cf. Deuteronomy, we are not to "test" God but rather hope for God's deliverance. Of course, as the old joke has it, God "sent you the boat and the helicopter to rescue you from the flood, what more did you want?" -- we cannot test God by relying on a supernatural miracle when it is one's own hand that will defend one's state, but on the other hand, one cannot test God's willingness to forgive all sins in under the rubric of "we were only defending our state".

Greetings from Right Blogistan where the weather is sizzling

Here in Right Blogistan we continue our obsession with "Operation Rescue Three Soldiers" while I'm not too sure what the agenda is among my chaverim to the left. However, for all you liberals out there.. if you know the name of Mel Gibson's agent (who has launched a campaign in the Jewish Community to restore Mel's reputation) but you don't know who Shlomo Goldwasser is.... then you ought to be ashamed of yourselves.

"Turn the other cheek" when terrorists kidnap? If that were the case the hijacked victims would still be sitting waiting to be rescued from Entebbe! (that was during the Bicentennial in 1976 for the younger crowd.. it is in the history books along with the real story of the alleged "occupation" from 1948)
Actually, I'm referring to turn the other cheek when it comes to the rocket attacks (except for those that actually do end up causing casualties).

As far the kidnappings, if only the Israeli military knew where the kidnapped soldiers were and pulled an Entebbe, so to speak -- that would really have undermined whatever it is Hezbollah was hoping to accomplish, whether it was to effect (I just love it when it actually is appropriate to use effect as a verb!) a hostage exchange (as Hezbollah last I checked was pretty much claiming) or whether it was to establish Hezbollah as the "defender of Lebanon".

BTW -- is it my imagination or does Israel seem to be borrowing our strategy (bombing the supply routes, etc.) from the Vietnam war? We all know how well that worked for us ... I thouroughly agree with you Nate that when it comes to execution, the Israeli military is the best in the world, but, at least from my arm-chair quarterback perspective, they need to fire whomever is coming up with their overall strategies ...
Also, Nate ... sorry to tell you, you and your blog hardly reside in right blogistan: you may not be a liberal, but you sure ain't no "righty-tighty".
My blog doesnt really live in right's more light and fluffy.... but I am a card carrying citizen... Dont judge a man by his blog!
but I am a card carrying citizen - nate

I hope it's not my fault ... I'd hate to think I drove you to the right like the hippies scared all those neo-cons to the right ;)

Seriously, there are a lot of us moonbat lefties who, in our own way, are conservative, depending on your definition of conservative. You may be frightened to know this, but you may very well be one of them (mwa-ha-ha). When you think about it, Nate, appart from certain foreign policy issues, about what do we substantially disagree? It seems that some of our disagreements are more about language to use than anything -- oy how logical positivist of me!
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